Market Needs

The Consumer Electronics market needs low initial manufacturing cost above all else. Electrical efficiency (the % of the light converted into current) is not a factor as long as the PV modules produce enough to trickle charge a small, portable battery for low power electronics. The lifetime of the PV device is not an issue, since product life cycles are short. The devices are seldom if ever exposed to rain, hail, or direct sunlight. This market is currently dominated by PV devices based on amorphous silicon (a-Si), but we expect amorphous silicon to be displaced in this market area by organic dye based "plastic PV" devices which are even less efficient, have even shorter device lifetimes, but can be made even less expensively than amorphous silicon. HelioVolt will not compete in this arena.

PV Module Products Today

World PV Market

The Power Generation market arena values rugged devices that can stand up to weather, last many years (to amortize their cost over a longer period) and are efficient enough to generate significant amounts of power for households, businesses and the electrical power grid. The dominant material used for PV devices in this area today is crystalline silicon (x-Si), which is reliable and efficient but relatively expensive to make (currently about $2.40 to $2.70 per watt manufacturing costs for a large plant). NREL estimates that it will take high efficiency devices with manufacturing costs of $1 per watt or less to make PV power competitive with today's price of electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. We do not believe that crystalline silicon devices can reach those price levels in the forseeable future, if ever. HelioVolt can.

PV Module Products in Five Years

World PV Market

HelioVolt's unique manufacturing technology can produce thin film semiconductor PV modules based on a proven copper-based semiconductor alloy (CIGSS) that are superior to other thin films (like CdTe) and as efficient and reliable as crystalline silicon at cost levels of $0.70 per watt by 2010, long before any silicon producer can approach that cost. These thin film devices can displace crystalline silicon from the market and accelerate the growth of this market area tremendously.